Quinta Mazatlan in McAllen, Texas
Quinta Mazatlan is a tourist attraction in McAllen, Texas. If you’ve ever been to McAllen, you know there isn’t much there. So if you’re looking to kill an hour or two this is as good of a place to do it as any. Quinta Mazatlan is one of the few (and largest) remaining adobe homes in the lone star state. It was built in 1935 by Jason Matthews, who seems to be an interesting character. The outline isn’t very aesthetic, but the home is really beautiful. It is open for you to pursue at your leisure, but as it isn’t very large it won’t take you long. The sheet they provide with the history of the home remarks “An unusual feature of the house is the aluminum sulfate paint on the inside and out to prevent radar waves from penetrating the building.” It does not, however, elaborate on why such radiation prevention measures were needed. Probably just a little Communism paranoia.
My favorite part of the home was the Roman bath. I would love to stretch out there for a while, knowing that I’m safe from radiation.
The back yard even features an adobe pool, which is supposedly the only one in existence. In addition, there is a large greenhouse where Mr. Matthews performed agricultural experiments, some which were later used by the U.S. Government to feed troops during World War II. At the time of writing, the greenhouse was not part of the tour and in a state of disrepair.
What did the Matthews’ do with their time at Quinta Mazatlan (besides growing hydroponic tomatoes)? They were the publisher and editor or American Mercury Magazine, an anti-communist publication. Weird.
In addition to the home, Quinta Mazatlan serves as the McAllen branch of the World Birding Center. The area is in the migratory path of many species. There are trails throughout the property with various bird habitats along the way. I saw quite a few of our feathered friends, but I’m no ornithologist and I have no idea what they were (besides the humming bird). The ones I did see were pretty homogeneous and not particularly interesting to look at. It was quite pretty, but be sure to slather on the insect repellent – regardless of the time of day. I had more holes than swiss cheese after that hike.
It will only set you back $2 to see the place and it’s right off of 10th Street. Very easy to find, except for by the drivers from the Holiday Inn Express